Rickmers Maritime faces HSH Nordbank deadline

German bank wants to be convinced by 15 April that Singapore boxship owner is worth more as a going concern than in liquidation.

Rickmers Maritime Trust (RMT) has been given a deadline of 15 April to present a revised restructuring plan by HSH Nordbank.

The German bank is said to want to see a concept that “ensures a higher level of total recoveries than under a trust winding-up scenario”.

RMT said it was in on-going discussions with the bank, but added that HSH Nordbank had not accepted any specific proposal for debt forgiveness.

RMT chairman Bertram Rickmers said the shipowner would update bondholders if there are any further developments, according to a regulatory filing.

Last week, the company said HSH could hand it a lifeline by writing off debts.

RMT had held talks with its largest lender after no plan for a restructuring could be agreed with its bondholders.

The bank indicated it "may be" willing to consider a debt forgiveness of the existing loans if the company is able to secure similar, "substantial" debt forgiveness from the noteholders and its other unsecured creditors.

The containership owner must also raise additional equity, boosting it above liquidation value.

Otherwise, the bank supports winding up the company.

RMT is in discussions with its advisers to formulate a new framework for restructuring.

Last month it issued a plea to creditors to write off debts in order for the company to survive.

It said it continued to face difficulties in meeting principal repayments, including $197.7m owed to an HSH syndicate on 31 March, as well as its SGD 100m ($70.51m) 8.45% medium-term notes due on 15 May 2017.

The company posted a net loss of $48.4m in the fourth quarter, against $129.58m in 2015.

Charter revenue fell to $14.28m against $24.08m the year before.